Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot

I was born in the city of salsa. Pace Picante sauce, that is. And after living four (mostly) magical years in Mexico, it's only natural that salsas play an integral role in my culinary journey.

(Interestingly, family chisme has it that my paternal grandfather was one of the first people that David Pace shared his picante sauce with. My grandfather loved it and encouraged him to package it and start selling it. But, knowing that side of the family, this story could be just that...a story. Or not.)

I'd like to think that salsa is in my blood, as I swear I was a Latina in a previous life!

Roasted tomato salsa. Chile de arbol salsa. Tomatillo salsa. Pico de gallo. Cooked and crudo salsas. Fruit salsas. Black bean salsa. I love it all. (And just so you'll know, I'm working on bottling my newest product, Ranch Sauce, so get ready.)

With summer upon us and amazingly big and gorgeous avocados in full bloom, I've been craving salsa. Sometimes I even enjoy calling "dinner" a bowl of guacamole with some chips and salsa.

So it's always good to keep some salsa on hand when a state of "It's too hot to eat, but I'm starving" presents itself. The salsa will keep for up to a month in the fridge, but I don't think it will last that long.

Scoop it up with chips, ladle it onto fried or scrambled eggs, add it to guacamole or just eat it with a spoon. 

Plus, it's a great way to spice up a dish without adding unnecessary fat or excessive calories.

Buen provecho!

Tomato Salsa
The Cowigrl Gourmet

Print recipe
The concept of this recipe comes from a friend's family who used to have an amazing Mexican restaurant in town. It's so easy, you'll swear there's more to it that this, which is one of the things I love most about Mexican food. It's all about the ingredients and combination of the right amount of salt, spicy and acid. 

This recipe is easily transformed into a roasted salsa by putting the ingredients on a baking sheet and placing them under a broiler or on the grill until everything is charred. And you can add some tomatillos to deepen the flavors as well.

1 lb. Roma tomatoes (approximately 4-6 tomatoes)
1/2 large yellow onion, peeled and cut in quarters, or 3/4 of a medium onion cut into quarters 
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 serrano pepper
Juice of 1/2 lime
Salt to taste, approximately 1/2 teaspoon or more if you desire 

Wash the tomatoes and place them in a medium sauce pan with the onion, garlic and serrano pepper. Cover with water and place on high heat.

Once it begins to boil, turn the heat to medium-high and let cook for 10-15 minutes, until the tomatoes begin to soften and the skin breaks and begins to peel.
Turn off the heat. Reserve the water the veggies were cooked in as you may need to add some water to the salsa later.

Using tongs, remove a tomato and place on a cutting board. Carefully remove the skin, cut the core out and place in the blender.
Repeat with remaining tomatoes, scraping any tomato juice that remains on the cutting board into the blender at the end. Remove onion and garlic from the pot and place them in a blender as well.
You may either cut the stem of the serrano off and drop it in the blender whole, or cut the serrano in half and remove the seeds and veins to minimize the heat factor. This is up to you.

Add the serrano, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the juice of 1/2 lime to the blender and puree...but be careful not to puree it too much. I like my salsa a bit on the chunky side, although that is not always possible.

Taste the salsa to see if you need to add a bit more salt or lime juice for the right balance.

Serve cold, warm or at room temperature. With chips, on top of eggs, with guacamole, however you see fit. Just enjoy!!

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